Males With Elevated Levels Of Testosterone Lead Shorter Lives But Have More Success Siring Offspring
4/12/2006 1:12:58 PM
Comparative studies have studied testosterone levels and related them to mating systems and aggression, but very few studies have attempted to relate testosterone to fitness, that is, the combination of lifetime reproductive success and survival, in the wild or experimentally. Over nine breeding seasons, Wendy Reed (North Dakota State University) and her colleagues followed a group of dark-eyed juncos, small mountain songbirds found throughout North America. They injected males with elevated levels of testosterone and found that they had shorter lives but that they were very successful at siring more offspring – even with females who were mated with other males.
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